Saturday, October 4, 2008

Refrigerator Resurrection!

My husband came home from a week long business trip in Kyushu, and finally had a chance to look over the old refrigerator this morning. He took some of the motor apart and put it back together again. When he plugged it in, immediately there was life in the old girl and within an hour the entire inner fridge was cold again. Go figure! I guess some connections had loosened and the usual vibrations (and jostling from slamming the door shut or earthquakes, etc) had caused the breakdown.

We ran it all day and the freezer produced ice within an hour or two. The vegetable bin was fine, the meat drawer's temperature, perfect. (We tested each section with a thermometer!) We can still use it. We will! But what a shock, after all this angst!

My initial thought was dismay--what are we going to say to our son??? But of course, I was glad to have the old fridge able to work again. And even if it means using his gift fridge as a spare (very handy when chilling a large pan of jello for a church pot luck), or replacing the decrepit little fridge with the gift one for use in the shop, it'll be utilized--no worries there. Still, I am sorry to have to let our boy know his rescue offered in love and the best of intentions was just a tad premature.

"The Lord works all things for good." How true this is! I realized from this entire episode a number of lessons. One is, we buy too much in the first place; more than we honestly need. When forced to limit purchases to fit a much tighter space, I could and did, slashing away the excess mercilessly. This resulted in a natural diet, as the freezer had no place in which to store ice cream! Downsizing is economically advantageous! Especially since we're always struggling to pay the bills, having a smaller fridge helped me stay within our budget.

Another lesson was in the clearing out of well over 50 partially opened jars & containers of pickles, curry sauce, jam, pesto, kimchi, mustard, tartar sauce, salad dressing, crystalized honey, marmalade, apple sauce, yogurt starter, chocolate sauce...well, the list goes on and on. They were largely untouched for days, months, even years in some cases. Many foods well past their expiration dates were saved from a vague guilty conviction that waste is a sin...but I've come to see that hanging on to stuff forever, and filling up your fridge with these space hoggers that can never be disposed of (but will never be eaten either) is just as sinful, if not downright stupid! It took the temporary breakdown of our fridge to help me finally clean it out, and start fresh, after 16 years! Talk about a life lesson!

It'll be interesting to see how the next couple of days go. The new fridge is supposed to come sometime tomorrow. We won't be having them take the old fridge away, so I hope my son will be refunded the 5,000 yen they were going to charge him for its removal. My poor son! How in the world will I break this news to him?

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